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Eaton's: One last try

T. Eaton Company was formed shortly after Canadian Confederation and soon became rooted in the country's cultural landscape. The department store was part of Canadian life. The Eaton's mail-order catalogue was called the "Family Bible" and the company's lavish Santa Claus parade launched the Christmas season. When the last Eaton's store closed its doors on Feb. 26, 2002 many Canadians mourned its death. It wasn't the business empire they would miss, but the loss of a national institution.

Sears Canada tried to resuscitate the once-venerable Eaton's name. On Sept. 20, 1999, Sears announced a $50-million deal under which it would buy all the shares of T. Eaton Company, eight of its stores and the Eaton's name. Sears relaunched seven stores with a new upscale image and an altered Eaton's name -- minus the capital E and the apostrophe. The new stores are named eatons. But the new-look eatons fails to attract the affluent market. Less than two years after the relaunch Sears waves the white flag. On Feb. 18, 2002 CBC Television reports that Sears is giving up on the Eaton's brand.
• As of Aug. 10, 2002 Eaton's was no more. Sears completed its conversion of six of its eatons stores to the Sears banner.
•Some analysts said the upscale relaunch of eatons failed because the department store alienated its traditional customers but was unable to appeal to the affluent shopper who preferred specialized boutiques.
Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: Feb. 18, 2002
Guest(s): Len Kubas
Reporter: Azeb Wolde-Giorghis
Duration: 2:08

Last updated: January 27, 2012

Page consulted on February 13, 2014

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